Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Days with Dreams: all about enjoying peaceful moments at home


If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you've surely already registered that my dear friend Sandra and I have launched Days with Dreams. I would like to tell you a little more about how it was born and what it's all about as there is lots of love behind the concept.

I've met Sandra (an unbelievable) 7 years ago in an office of an online startup in Prague. Two years down the line, Sandra has switched jobs and I followed her into the same company not too long after :) That was the 2nd time we worked together. We somehow knew there would be a 3rd time too and both of us felt it might be on our own project.

Dreams do really come true; about 3 years later, so this January, Sandra and I were at her home (right here), drinking Harney and Sons tea from princess-like tea cups and dreaming up our creative project, which we later named Days with Dreams.

Sandra is a well-known Czech blogger that writes about home decor, works as a photographer for a flower shop, is an interior designer at an architectural studio and lives her dream. She takes absolutely stunning photographs in her home full of relaxed, dreamy atmosphere, which I fell in love with years ago already. It was a no-brainer that her photos are going to play a big role in our project. I could instantly see how I would draw complimentary illustrations to her photos and we agreed very quickly we would create a calendar together.

A calendar that inspires you my dears to enjoy your days at home. To light up a candle, pick up your favorite book, forget about the world and dive into your own world. To set time aside just for you and to think of where you want your life to take you. Because each of us can live our dream. It might be 3 years from now, but it is totally doable.

We also knew straight from the start that we want the calendar to be not just as pretty as it can be, but also useful. That is why every page has the maximum possible space for you to write in notes and plan your days.

You can order your own 2016 Days with Dreams calendar either in our Etsy shop for €19 or in our Fler shop for 499 Kč. We ship both from Vienna and Prague and accept international orders.

I absolutely love sending out packages and letters and truly look forward to packing the orders, yay!

Cheers to the pretty, relaxed days of 2016!
www.dayswithdreams.com


Friday, 14 August 2015

PaperFest 2015 + Cath Kidston quotes that stood out the most for me

My little temporary tattoos + bookmarks station
All photos above © Lisa Jane Photography (www.lisajane-photography.com)

I found out about PaperFest some time last year after I heard that Anna Bond of Rifle Paper was a keynote speaker at PaperFest 2014.
I immediately put it to the top of my to-do list for 2015 and bought a ticket as soon as they went up for sale.

PaperFest 2015 was on July 24th and I looked forward to it for months!

I however quickly figured that getting to London for the 24th is going to be a little tricky as 23rd is Chris' birthday.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Why I'm giving up on regular blogging + NEWS

Blueberries A4 print from my Etsy shop (see it here)

My 'Love' greeting card (see it here)
'Pink Blonde' watercolor illustration print (details here)
'Happy Day' blueberries note card (in my shop here)
Printable envelope with my Mocking Bird pattern (download it here)
"Good afternoon you lovely lot!"

(I totally borrowed that from PaperFest's newsletter that they sent out today, I'm so excited about PaperFest (no clue who they are? see here) and their communication is just so smooth and elegant, I would love to be so good with words myself. As I am not, I've borrowed it, but naturally, as I am a way too honest person, I would never ever use it without saying where I took it from.)

Speaking of not being a master of words, I'll be bluntly honest again: I am giving up on regular blogging

I believe you should absolutely LOVE what you do and I just don't love blogging (understand regular, for example once in a week) that much. On top of that, I am simply not able to construct naturally flowing and fun stories. If I ever did, it must have taken me hours.

What I do love though (ever since I was a child and my love is always growing) is drawing and being creative.

I am here in this world to do exactly that. I've already quit my day job in January to kick things off, but now, I am ready to drop more things on the road which are not quite exactly me. One thing being regular blogging.

I'm NOT saying you won't see a line of text from me here any time again, but I just can't promise it will be regular or happening often.

I am pretty sure though that I will have some exciting stuff I am dying to share with you roughly 1x a month or so and believe me, when I have something to say, I want to scream out loud.

So if you are okay with once a month, shall we see each other here again in August?

In the meantime, I'll be going to be seeing (I still can't believe I can actually say this) Cath Kidston in a couple of days in London at PaperFest (you sense how excited I am as this is the 3rd time I've mentioned it?) and will be spending a couple of days in a Czech countryside (forest, I'm coming!) with my family.

Oh and please let me know what you think of my newly re-launched Etsy shop, I've filled it with all greeting cards I've got in store (finally I succeeded in taking product photos on my own that I am happy with, YAY!) and also added my new art prints on top! 

Have a fantastic week and see you!
Nat.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Inspiration: outline illustration + news from my world

Today I have a strong urge to show you two books I've been loving over the past weeks (over Instagram + blog) and the June calendar from Oana Befort. Apart from being absolutely stunning, all of the 3 pieces have one thing in common: outline illustration.

Outline illustration is (as you can tell) illustration without the use of color. Black and white, gorgeous detailed shapes, hello!

Oana's gorgeous June calendar, which you can download on her blog right here
Two - coloring - books I've been really enjoying seeing on Instagram in the past weeks ♥:

Dagdrömmar coloring book by Hanna Karlzon. I'm in love.
Photo credits: Hanna Karlzon's instagram feed (link here)
Second coloring book I instantly loved, coincidentally also by a Swedish illustrator, Tovelisa:

Photo credits: Tovelisa + more of her pictures from the book here

Photo credits: Tovelisa
I must admit I can't really imagine myself coloring these, I think I would just enjoy looking at the fine details of the drawings, as they are.

On a completely different note (from the private life drawer), I've been asked an interesting question today, which is worth sharing, I believe.

What is the difference between graphic design and illustration?

For me, illustration is all about natural, hand drawn lines. It is born on paper, it's not 100% perfect and I connect it with gift products (mostly gift wrap paper and greeting cards), fabric, wall art, tattoos and cute home accessories.

Graphic design sounds a little more serious to me, a little more grown up. The words that come to my mind are corporate, brand, clarity, communication, telling a story and presentation (also business to be honest). I am by no means trying to say that I like graphic design less. That thought doesn't even make sense to me, really.

Speaking of which, I actually have a news to share with you which is pretty big in my world :)

I was accepted to a 3 year Graphic Design evening school here in Vienna, yay! It was on my dream list for quite a while and I can't wait to learn more (I've been a little obsessed about learning things related to illustration, graphic design and freelancing recently).

So I am back to school as of October, wooohooh!

Apart from that, I'm wrapping up last bits and bobs for Feschmarkt in Vienna, which is happening this weekend. I'll be debuting new A4 prints there and a very limited sticker set and will be offering Feschmarkt-exclusive deal on greeting cards too. Drop by to say hello if you are in Vienna this weekend!

Oh and my website is getting a completely new, fresh look, have a look at it on Friday (www.nataliezart.com), it should be sleek and pretty by then! Fingers crossed the launch goes smoothly ;)

So that's that from my world for now dears, I hope you are having a fantastic week and liked my little inspiration + news corner today. Was it a little scattered? I guess, but I really wanted to say it all :)

Bis bald! (German for see you soon!)

PS. I only have 3 months to somehow magically perfect my German skills as I'll be studying in German! I can already see myself sharing my funny German hiccups from classroom with you. At least it will be fun!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Motivation & education guide + 1 month of Skillshare for grabs


Over the past couple of years, I've gathered a few essential motivators that I'd like to share with you today. I believe that having a set of a few motivators at hand really helps, mainly during those days when you're not feeling your best or seeing the results you would hope for.

For me, education = motivation (at least for education that I choose and care about!) and so I will share both my motivation and education go-to lists with you. 

To top it all up, I've got a small surprise for you, which I would have been ever so happy to get a few months back! (I actually did - I mentioned that in my post about a miracle here.)

My go-to motivation resources
  • Louise Hay's Morning Meditation - I can't tell you how many times this has totally brightened up the day for me, right from the start of it.
  • Dr. Wayne Dyer's talks like this one - I must have listened to this about 50 times already, not kidding you.  
  • The Secret book - over the past couple of years, I've read it a few times and like coming back to certain sections every so often. 
  • Marie Forleo's motivational videos that land in my inbox every Tuesday.  
  • Braid Creative blog full of advice for creatives who want to pay the bills with their passion.  
  • Being Boss podcast by Kathleen Shannon (from Braid Creative) and Emily Thompson who chat about tips and tricks for creatives entrepreneurs and interview people who have too made it (understand being their own boss :)
  • A good walk, possibly in the nature or at least peeking into gardens in our neighborhood and in the best case, calling my mum/ dear friend during it, is like a cherry on the cake.

Where I learn: my go-to education resources

Don't you just LOVE that moment when you finally figure out how to do something you've been wanting to do for a long time? I do! Here are my tricks to learning:
  • Research, a lot. Ask Youtube, Google, search through blogs, there will most probably be an answer to what you are looking to do. 
  • Simply DO stuff. I really wanted to learn how to illustrate digitally. At the beginning I had NO CLUE how. I first researched everything there was, for months and then I simply bought myself a graphic tablet without knowing how to use it and learned it by doing. Same with my DSLR camera. Same with Photoshop. Go and do what you want to learn. It will feel odd in the first days/ weeks, but in a couple of months, you'll be doing it like a pro.  
  • Follow your role models and observe what they do. I would recommend you to choose roughly 3 of your role models - that is, people that already do what you want to do - and read their blogs, articles, interviews, attend classes that they might hold and learn from them. This has been so inspirational to me and I've learned TONS from designers/ illustrators I admire.   
  • Find local conferences, meet ups and courses that relate to what you want to do. You'll quickly figure out which ones are working for you and which might not, but it's essential to meet and connect with people that do what you dream of doing or are at the same position as you. 
Small side note: I find that books are great, I have definitely bought MANY educational books over the past couple of years, but somehow, I end up loving online resources the most as they show you stuff rather than explain in words how to do it. Naturally, this depends on the topic you are learning. For me, online resources win.

Having said that, here is my last, but not least ! favorite education resource that I've been learning from like crazy in the past couple of months:

  • Skillshare - this is where I've learned Illustrator from scratch through Bonnie's Surface Pattern Design courses 1 (here) and 2 (here). There are PLENTY of courses on all topics you can think of (design, photography, business, DYI, etc.). 


If you've been wanting to take Bonnie's course too, or simply fancy learning anything else
you want, I've got a 

1 FREE MONTH OF



MEMBERSHIP FOR YOU, woohooooh!

You can give it a try and see if you want to stay :)
They offer a 14 day trial on their website, but as a member myself, I can share a 1 month trial with you (which I believe is much better for e.g. taking Bonnie's course).



Here are some of the courses I have taken and can only highly recommend:

& if you want to hear how I RUSHED to get into Skillshare just a couple of weeks ago, read this

Happy learning!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Swedish Forest is now on Society6, YAY!

The most liked patterns from my latest Swedish Forest collection are now available on Society6, woop woop! 
Society6 prints designs on mugs, tote bags, t-shirts, LEGGINGS (I have immediately ordered 'By the lake (dark)' leggings for myself, HAD TO!), bed duvet covers, laptop and iPhone skins and more. Even wall clocks. Have a look for yourself, my shop is now open! 


I absolutely could not resist to get these once they were available, can't wait for the package to arrive! :)
More clocks here
Other duvet cover options here
Tote bags here
More phone cases here
Other pillow patterns here
Any clear winners for you? 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Launch of Swedish Forest pattern collection


A couple of days back, I've finished working on my new collection of patterns called Swedish Forest. Working on the collection took me about a month on and off and I truly enjoyed every bit of the process. 

I've submitted the collection to a design challenge by Bonnie Christine from Going Home To Roost within her Skillshare course and would be SO honored if I made it within the three winners. The results will be announced on Bonnie's blog on May 22nd. Have a look if you are curious :) I'll be impatiently waiting for the announcement!

The collection is based on my childhood memories from summers I've spent in Sweden with my grandmother, visiting my aunt. These memories belong to my dearest day dream getaways ever and it only felt natural to create a set of patterns based on them. I do hope that one day, I could re-visit this little place in Sweden that I haven't been to in the past 15 years as my aunt moved to the South of Sweden, hundreds of kilometers away from where she lived before. 

Till then, the fairy land will continue living in my head and hopefully, you'll be able to get a feeling of the atmosphere from the patterns.

Color version #1:

Color version #2:
Did you know that Swedish villages have mailboxes at one spot, all lined up on a wooden fence? Houses don't have a mailbox at their entrance, all of the mailboxes are at one place and people pick up their post there. It looks a bit like this. At least that's how it was 15 years ago :) Gosh do I feel old when I am starting to use phrases like '15 years ago'!

I really enjoyed putting the patterns into perspective through product mockups. Seeing the patterns on things that I could have at home is just so rewarding. It makes my dreams a little more visual :)

I'd love to hear what you think of the collection - any favorite patterns or ideas for products you'd like to see them on?

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Weekly Mini Story series on Facebook

Hi lovelies!

I hope you are having a great day today. It's nicely sunny here in Vienna, the summer is almost here!

Last Sunday, I started a small weekly Mini Story series on my Facebook page. Have you noticed?

I love sharing longer stories here on the blog with you. I however feel like here on the blog, the articles scream for beautiful photos. The camera on my phone is horrid (I absolutely cannot wait to the moment when I get a new phone - hopefully in July) and so I can only shoot with my larger camera and then I edit the photos one by one in Photoshop. I'm a total perfectionist and sometimes preparing a blog post takes me up to 3 hours.

That is why I thought that sharing little stories on Facebook might be handy :)

What do you think?

See the first story - which is all about my artist name - here. The second one is coming on Sunday!



PS. I am not quite sure yet whether I will stick to posting them on Facebook or move them to an e-mail form or even to the blog, but in any case, I like the idea of posting shorter stories.

PSS. Did I tell you that a complete overhaul of nataliezart.com is in progress? It's been quite a demanding project so far with lots of tech challenges on the go, but I can tell you already, it will be so pretty. Most of all, it will finally be clear what I offer and what can businesses/ individuals hire me for. I CANNOT wait to share this with you once it's done!

Oh and a last note - please have fingers crossed for me around May 15th :) I am taking part in Bonnie Christine's Surface Pattern Design course competition and would LOVE to win it with my Swedish Forest pattern collection. Have a look at it here if you are curious. I will be officially debuting the collection a little later in May.

Have an amazing weekend all of you! Chris and I will be at Feschmarkt Design market in Graz from Friday till Sunday, wooohooo!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Edelstoff 07 experience: 4 things you might not realise as a visitor at a design market

We were so lucky to get a stall next to a wall, wooohoo!
T-shirts Chris and I screen printed together
© Philipp Lipiarski / www.goodlifecrew.at 
The candle house didn't fit on the table, so we had it as a deco 'for us'. Guess what, we FORGOT to blow it out after the first day (it was a two day market). We only remembered it way too late in the evening and agreed that nothing can happen as the candle is in a metal/ glass house, but still, I felt pretty bad! Although nothing would have happened, I was quite happy to find out the next morning that someone blew it out for us. Better be more careful about candles in the future!
© Philipp Lipiarski / www.goodlifecrew.at
I've been to design markets a few times in the past as a visitor, but Edelstoff was my very first design market that I've attended as a seller. I can tell you that the experience of a visitor vs. seller is SO hugely different. Sure, it makes total sense, but still, until I've tried it myself, I didn't quite know how it feels on the 'other' side.

It's an investment
As a regular visitor, I didn't even think about the fact that the sellers pay to be there. The organisers carefully curate the designer brands and select them after a round of applications, but the stall spot is paid. It's not just the stall fee you invest as the seller, it's also all the decorations (think every little - and large - box, display stand, light, logo banner, table cloth, etc.) and all the products that you need to buy in advance. It all adds up pretty quickly. 

For me, the tough part was estimating how much I'll need for the market and what to produce. Will I sell 10 greeting cards or 100? Should I order notebooks or gift wraps? All of that was so hard to guess, mainly for the first market. 

You need a buddy
Apart from the investment details, I never thought of the fact that it's not the best idea to sell alone. It is naturally possible, but not ideal. Any time you would need to go to the bathroom/ grab something to eat/ drink, you would need to ask someone to watch out for your stand and possibly lose customers as you were not there. Not so great.

Chris was ever so sweet and was there with me the WHOLE weekend, every single minute of it. It was an invaluable help. 

Time hustle
I also never really thought of the whole setup part before the event starts. I never imagined the sellers carrying in boxes, setting the stalls up, decorating the tables, making everything pretty, all morning before the visitors come in. 7:30 Saturday morning, HELLO! :) 

It however really wasn't so bad and both Chris and I were really surprised how fast the days flew by! We didn't have a single moment where we would look at the watch and think 'oh my, four more hours to go'. It was more like 'it's already four?'.

You don't get to see all exhibitors 
Neither Chris nor I actually had a chance to properly check out all the other stands. Whenever I left for a quick bathroom break, I wanted to be back asap so that Chris isn't there alone and vice versa. But we really liked the guys that had stalls next to us and the atmosphere in our corner was AMAZING. Laughs, smiles, totally having fingers crossed for others to sell well, we loved it! The whole market had a great vibe, but we could only fully experience our corner :D

To sum it all up, I am SO HAPPY we've been there. It was an amazing experience, we now know how it all works and are ready for the next one (which is in less than 2 weeks)! 

Next up: Feschmarkt in Graz on May 8 - 10. Yooohooohoooo! 
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